The Atlanta Falcons officially released defensive tackle Paul Soliai, a move that was first reported over two weeks ago. As expected the Falcons designated him as a post-June 1 cut, meaning they will gain increased savings against the 2016 salary cap beginning on June 2 of this year. Until then, the Falcons will be forced to carry Soliai’s entire $6.8375 million cap hit.
Come June, the Falcons will be able to free up $5.4375 million against the cap due to the lowering of Soliai’s dead money hit in 2016 to $1.4 million. If the Falcons had opted to release Soliai today as a “normal” cut, they’d assume a hit of $4.2 million in dead money, garnering cap savings of $2.6375 million immediately.
While the Falcons will eventually save more money this year, by making Soliai a post-June 1 cut they will be forced to carry the remaining portion of dead money ($2.8 million) against their 2017 salary cap.
Soliai’s release creates a void at the nose tackle position. Currently only former 2015 undrafted rookie Joey Mbu sits on the roster at the position. It will likely become a priority for the Falcons to fill this offseason.
Soliai was signed by the Falcons at the outset of the 2014 offseason as their highest-paid free-agent signing. In two seasons in Atlanta, he combined for 52 tackles and one sack while starting 24 of 29 games.